Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats

382                                              PABGANA MATHURA'.
raised to Rs. 898. The place is frequently, but incorrectly, called Naurangabad.
It also has the subsidiary name of Mohanpur, from one Mohan Lai, a Sanadh, a
man of some importance, who came from Mat and settled there last century. On
the bank of the Jamunais an extensive garden, and on some high ground near the
old Agra gate a mosque of the same age as the town, which presents rather
a stately appearance, being faced with stone and approached from the
road by a steep flight of steps. The weekly market is held on Friday, and is
chiefly for the sale of thread and cotton. The Government institutions consist
of a police-station and a school. For the accommodation of the latter, which for
some years past had borne an exceptionally high character, I had a handsome
and substantial building erected, with pillars and tracery of carved stone, which
now forms the most conspicuous ornament of the place. This was the last work
that I completed before I left the district. A view is given of it as an example
of the way in which the indigenous style of architecture can be adapted to
ordinary modem requirements. A reach of sandy and broken ground extends
from the town to the river, where a bridge of boats affords means of communi-
cation with Gokul and Maha-bo-n on the opposite bank. Aurangabad is the
chief place for the manufacture of wicker chairs and couches, which find a
ready sale among the English residents of the adjoining station,
FAB AH—population 3,642—has a camping ground for troops on the high road
to Agra, from which district it has only lately been detached. It was founded
by Hamida Begam, the mother of the Emperor Akbar. About the year 1555,
during the exile of the Emperor Humayun the town was the scene of a battle
between Sikandar Shah (a nephew of Sher Shah) and Ibrahim Shah, in which
the latter was defeated, though he had with him an army of " 70,000 horse
and 200 persons, to whom he had given velvet tents, banners, and kettle-drums."
Sikandar, whose force did not exceed 10,000 borse,fc offered peace upon condi-
tion of receiving the government of the Fanjab, but on his overtures being
rejected, he joined In battle, and by his victory became sovereign of Agra and
Delhi, while Ibrahim fled to SambhaL
SOSKH—population 4,126—is on the road from Mathura to Kumbhir. It is
a very thriving and well-to-do place, with a large number of Substantial brick-
built shops and houses, many of them with carved stone fronts. Under the
Jats it was the head of a local Division. It is said by the Gosains—with their
usual absurdity—to derive its name from the demon Sankhasur j but, accord-
ing to more genuine local tradition, it was first founded in the time of Anang
Pal, the rebmlder of Delhi, probably by the same Tomar chief who has left